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Oregonian taking a lot of heat from readers for this one. What do you think?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by zachpm, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Your paper gets a list of every current sex offender in its county of publication. Do you publish? All the names? Without regard to whether it was a juvenile crime or committed as an adult? Without regard to level of offender status?
  2. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    In my Beginning Reporting class today, I split the students up into small groups. Some of the groups are reading the SJP Code of Ethics and are writing a paper on why they would or would not have run this story, according to the COE.

    Other groups are reading the CoSIDA Code of Ethics, and are writing about how Oregon State's sports information office needs to respond, if at all.
  3. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    That one's easier. They don't so much as move paper clips around on the desk until the school's lawyers give them the statement they're going to release verbatim.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  4. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Awful on every level. But I don't know how, as a news outlet, that you would be able to NOT report these findings, given that they're public record.

    I think the larger question is whether Washington State made the right decision to make juvenile sex-offender records public. How does this compare to other states?
  5. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    How this list was obtained and whether this list is already publicly available are important in this hypothetical situation.

    Just print the list just because? Nope. But if the existence of the list is part of a larger, newsworthy story in the public interest, you should consider including it.

    Depends on the story. If, say, a political candidate or public servant is listed here, yes. It should probably be mentioned every time you write about this person's character or judgement.

    Depends on the story.

    Regarding the Oregonian's story:

    You can debate whether we should treat sports players on the same level as world leaders, but the reality is that we do and we must make decisions within that context. He pleaded guilty to a very serious crime. He chose to pursue a position in society that is generally accepted to command respect and privilege and invite scrutiny if you are successful. He became successful. He is an important person. His character is newsworthy. The guilty plea is public and relevant information.
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    That doesn't have to be the reality
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Running it is a no-brainer. Can't let fanbois dictate when news breaks just to help the team. Say you decide to hold it a week, and the Beavers win the super? Do now wait until after they return from Omaha?
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    It's not about them. It's about whether this serves any real public service.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You could decide not to run it at all. I'm a bit torn on it. I lean toward running it, at least partly because there's a live issue here about how athletic departments handle convicted felons. But there's also the matter of him being 15 when it happened and that people should be allowed to outgrow their mistakes, even terrible ones. It definitely adds to the weirdness that if he does this in most states (including Oregon), it's a non-issue because those records don't get out.

    If I were the sports editor, I could definitely be swayed by compelling arguments to spike it. Tough call.
  10. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    I'd appreciate it if you walked me through what you mean by this.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Wasn't Josh Duggar around 15 when he was serially molesting his fellow congregants?

    Should that have been publicized? I don't even know what the live issue would have been.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That's about how old he was, I think. I'm not sure what my exact feelings were on that, other than to say I'm pretty sure they weren't Starman-esque ... but as I pointed out earlier, the Oregonian passage about the low recidivism rate in these cases has altered my thinking quite a bit.
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